Tennessee Governor's Newsletter October 2022

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Catherine R. Womack, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Catherine R. Womack, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Message from the Governor

Dear Colleagues,

I hope all of you are doing well. As I work with ACP members from our great state of Tennessee and other members from across the country, I am reminded that ACP is continuously working to advocate for Internal Medicine physicians and our patients. I hope that you all are enjoying the easier outpatient codes that we can use to see our patients. I know ACP is working with the AMA and other groups to facilitate similar streamlining of the coding process for our inpatient physicians. We must continue to work locally and nationally to assure that we can practice medicine and not have outside influences affect our doctor patient relationship. I think you all realize that patients now more than ever need to feel that connection to their physician so that they receive evidence-based guidelines that will prevent disease and help them to lead long and fulfilling lives. I hope that you will join me for our scientific meeting in Franklin, TN on October 21-22 when we will be receiving updates on many important topics to help us better care for our patients. We will also be reviewing the students' and residents' scientific posters. Training programs from across the state are sending their residents to compete in Doctor's Dilemma (medical jeopardy), and I know it is going to be a wonderful meeting. Again, I hope you will join us!



Chapter Scientific Meeting

This year's annual meeting will be held October 21-22 at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs. We have a robust meeting planned, covering topics on:

  • Updates in Hematology, Headache, and Rheumatology
  • Long COVID Syndrome
  • Update on Wellness
  • Breakout sessions: Hip Join and Its Common Injuries, Update in Outpatient Medicine, and Update in Hospital Medicine
  • Update in Dermatology and Nephrology
  • Doctor's Dilemma
  • Resident and Fellow Oral Presentations
  • Narcotic Prescribing: These sessions (parts 1 and 2) meet the Tennessee State-mandated 2-hour Opioid prescribing requirement.
  • SEP Modules: Update in Internal Medicine and Update in Hospital Medicine

View the meeting agenda and register today!



TMA Day on the Hill

Since my last newsletter, a lot has happened. We have attended TMA Day on the Hill. I so appreciate Dr. Desiree Burroughs-Ray, Dr. Chris Jackson along with our Chief Residents at UTHSC who recruited our medical students and Internal Medicine and Med/Peds residents to ride the bus to Nashville for the day. It was a team effort, and the Memphis Medical Society provided the transportation. We left at 6:00 am so we could make it to all our meetings and had a packed agenda. I know that other ACP members from across the state joined us in our advocacy efforts. I appreciate that with a team effort we able to advocate for better healthcare in Tennessee.

Drs. Richard Lane, Catherine Womack, Ed Palmer Bob Vegors, Michelle Allmon, Chris Jackson and Desiree Burroughs-Ray were also on hand to speak to our legislators.
Mr. Gage Smith, Dr. Catherine Womack, Representative Larry Miller, Mr. Chase Toth



Internal Medicine Meeting 2022

Next up was our National Meeting in Chicago. Our very own Ryan Mire is our national ACP President. He was sworn in at the end of our meeting. We had a great turnout of Fellows, and Dr. Kevin Smith and Dr. Tracey Doering were presented as new ACP Masters. Dr. Mukta Panda led a plenary session on well-being.

Dr. Ryan Mire was everywhere!
Convocation Ceremony celebrants!

We had a contingent celebrating our new Masters Dr. Kevin Smith and Dr. Tracey Doering, immediate past Governor of the ACP.

Our new Fellow Dr. Daphne Norwood and our hardworking Chapter Award winner for Woman Physician of the Year Dr. Parul Goyal with Dr. Mukta Panda Vic-Chair for the Global Engagement and last year's TN award winner for Women Physician of the Year.

Drs. Kevin Smith, Ryan Mire, Parul Goyal, Catherine Womack, Emily Brown and Wayne Riley

Party pics from the Tennessee contingent reception. We were fortunate to participate with the Georgia Chapter.

Dr. Daphne Norwood, Dr. Juli Williams and Dr. Patrick Buczynski from Knoxville
One of the closing plenary sessions was amazing. Thank you, Dr. Panda!



Leadership Day

We also sent a contingent to ACP Leadership Day on the Hill. We were fortunate to have great weather and a hard-working contingent. I have been to Leadership Day multiple times and this time it was evident that what ACP mattered to many of the legislators and/or their aides. They took notes and asked good questions. We talked about increased funding for GME and for NIH and the CDC. We thanked them for cooperating on some of the legislation related to the opioid epidemic and discussed the importance of cutting the prices on our patient's insulin. Again, when we as physician leaders take the time to meet with legislators, we can combat some of the misinformation that is out there in the news. We need the people that are making laws in our country to understand evidence-based guidelines and how practicing medicine outside the bounds of science can harm our patients. There are a few things that are controversial but most of what we do is based on data. We need to make sure and share this important information with all our legislators, because when we do not advocate for Internal Medicine and our patients, we all lose.

Drs. Ryan Mire, Sybil Watkins and Catherine Womack, Congressman David Kustoff, Drs. Kevin Smith and Curtis Cary. At the time Dr. Watkins was in medical school at UTHSC but now is an IM resident at Vanderbilt.



CME Events

Lastly, we received your information about wanting local CME events in your communities. I am planning to meet in October with the ACP members in Memphis. We will work on getting a CME event in the next few months. I have contacted Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga members to work on setting up programs in those cities. If you are interested in having a local CME meeting in your hometown let me know, and I will try to work with you to make it happen.

As I finish up our advocacy discussion, I would like to leave you with a thought about our Trigger Law in Tennessee. Unfortunately, for our OB/GYN colleagues there is no exemption for physicians treating women who have ectopic pregnancies. Under this law, the doctor performing the life-saving procedure for the mother will have committed a Class C Felony. If charged by the DA, the law reads that they must go to court and present evidence that they performed the termination of the pregnancy to save the life of the mother. This makes no sense.

So, please understand how important your voice is advocating for your patients and yourselves. I do not think the legislators passed this law and wanted our OB/GYN colleagues to be charged with a felony when they were performing their duty to save the mother. I hope that this will not cause doctors to leave our state and prevent medical students from coming to train in our state. I hope this example will spur you to visit with the legislators in your area to make sure that they are informed by practicing Internal Medicine physicians.

Very proud that Dr. Ryan Mire received the UTHSC Outstanding Alumni Award 2022 on September 23, 2022.




Now Available: Voice-Over PowerPoint Detailing ACP's Public Policy Development Process

Do you wonder how ACP collects ideas and generates policies?

A presentation featuring Dr. Ryan Mire, ACP President and Dr. Sue Bornstein, ACP's Chair of the Board of Regents, is now available to answer such questions. The presentation details ACP's Public Policy Development Process and details ACP's approach to the development and communication of public policies.



Attention Early Career Physicians

As a thank you for remaining with ACP post residency, the ACP Member Insurance Program will automatically waive your enrollment fee.

The Next Step On Your Professional Journey: ACP's Guided Fellowship Program.

The ACP Guided Fellowship Program is an excellent way to develop as a leader and earn your FACP®. ACP will provide you with a clear path to Fellowship over a 3-year timeframe with mentorship from ACP leaders along the way.

Step 1: Review the Enrollment Requirements

Complete residency training in June 2022.

Renew your ACP membership through June 30, 2023.

Step 2: Enroll in the Free Program

Take the next step on your journey to ACP Fellowship. As a thank you for remaining with ACP post-residency, the ACP Member Insurance Program will automatically waive your enrollment fee. The deadline to apply is November 15, 2022

In closing, I would like to celebrate the chapter's new Fellows who were named this year:

Mosunmola Ademosu, MBCHB, FACP
Jeremy S. Avila, MD, FACP
Debalina Das, MD, FACP
Bhavesh Arvindbhai Gajjar, MD, FACP
Spencer D. Gregg, MD, FACP
Jensen H. Hyde, MD, FACP
Christopher D. Jackson, MD, FACP
Devapiran Jaishankar, MBBS, FACP
Hetvi K. Joshi, MD, FACP
Ashley R. Karpinos, MD, FACP
Aneel Kumar, MD, FACP
Benjamin J. Maddox, MD, FACP
Rashid Mahboob, MBBS, FACP
Shirin Mazumder, MD, FACP
Elisha M. McCoy, MD, FACP
Claude Pirtle, MD, FACP
Donna D. Scudder, MD, FACP
Megan D. Ward, MD, FACP
Charles J. Webber, DO, FACP

I have visited Chattanooga and Nashville to meet with medical students and residents. I will be going to Knoxville next week, and I hope to travel to all training programs and visit all medical schools in our state to spread the value of our ACP membership.

See you at the meeting in Franklin, TN and please let me know if I can be of help to you.


Catherine R. Womack, MD, FACP